Solage Calistoga Wedding
May 21, 2014
Classic WeddingsRusticReligious Institution
Solage Calistoga is one of my favorite places in the world to say "I do."  It's the perfect mix of California casual with a big ol' dash of elegance thrown in for good measure.  And when you add in fab invitations and paper goods from Three Little Words, some yummy goodness from Sweet on Cake and a whole world of pretty captured by Marianne Wilson Photography, well... perfection, lovelies.  See it all here.
And a sweet film from Artisan Production?  Yes, please.
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From the Bride... Timmy (my husband) proposed on July 6th, 2012 underneath the Golden Gate Bridge on a bridge to bridge boat tour. It was absolutely perfect, as San Francisco means so much to both of us (I grew up in Marin, where my family still resides and Tim's friends all live in SF, too). We knew immediately after getting engaged so close to the 4th of July and in the Bay Area, that we wanted our wedding day to reflect that as much as possible. We ended up falling in love with Solage Resort (in Calistoga) for our reception venue, as it was both sophisticated and had an Americana charm to it, as well. We also secured a date close to our engagement day (exactly one year and one week to the day). Tim and I are both pretty traditional so we moved forward with a full Catholic mass at the beautiful St. Helena Catholic Church. We kept the decor within the Church very minimal, as it had a classic beauty of its own that we wanted to really shine through. We adored our Priest, Father John Brenkle, who came out of retirement to officiate just for us - so special and we sincerely appreciated it.

Despite the popularity of it these days, Tim and I decided NOT to do a first look before our mass. Call us 'superstitious 'or 'old-fashioned,' but it's always been a favorite of mine to see the groom's face when he sees his bride for the first time in front of all of the loved ones. In my opinion, it's always one of the most touching moments. Tim's reaction upon seeing me for the first time certainly did not disappoint! My dad and I were doing pretty well up until the doors opened and we saw Tim burst into tears! He was overwhelmed with pure joy and happiness and that spilled over to everyone in the Church, including my Dad and I who at that point were laugh/crying down the aisle together. I will never forget that moment as you really could FEEL the love permeate throughout the Church.

It was important to us that our wedding have some 'oomph' to it. We wanted our personalities to come through in the details and more importantly, we wanted our love to really be felt throughout the day. The best way we could do that was to just have fun with the planning and find elements that reflected who we are, what we love and our history. I happen to love a good pun! The more areas where we could incorporate fun pun play, we did. For example, for our guest’s thank you gifts and table assignments, we bottled Limoncello and added a custom label to it that we playfully called "Flemincello!" The kids got to partake in this fun too, as we also made "Flemonade" for them to enjoy.

In keeping with the pun play, we also had our ceremony programs turned into actual fans, and we had it read as, "I am a Fan of Timmy and Gianna!" The church itself gets really hot in the summertime, so our guests could literally use our program fans to cool themselves off!

Originally, we wanted to also include sparklers at our reception, especially since we were getting married within the "fireworks" season. Unfortunately, Solage did not allow said sparklers, so we found other creative ways to incorporate a sense of "sparks" throughout the ceremony and reception - hints of gold in our tablescapes and wedding cake, gold lettering in our invitations, custom program fans, menu, etc., my bridesmaids' gowns and the groomsmen’s bowties were a light gold champagne color, and the chandeliers even had their own little bit of sparkle. To top it all off, we had gold confetti that dropped from the ceiling later on in the night to really set a spark to the dance floor!

A personal fact that we simply couldn't (or wouldn't want) to ignore is the fact that Tim and his entire family are from Las Vegas, NV. What better way to acknowledge this fact then by creating a full blown party on the dance floor. The greatest DJ ever, DJ Josh Dukes of Boutique DJs, kept our guests dancing until midnight by delivering some of the best music ever that truly never alienated any age group. It was perfect! At 10PM, the gold confetti dropped from the ceiling and let everyone know it was time to REALLY party. Our waiters passed out “late night” snacks, gold Elvis sunglasses, and oversized glow stick rods that really made it feel like you had just stepped into a Vegas nightclub. One final surprise was left, when we presented Tim with the surprise groom’s cake, a “Welcome to Las Vegas” design by none other than Sweet on Cake.

Overall, this was a day that overflowed with laughter, good tears and nonstop fun. There were incredibly touching/emotional groomsmen speeches (as you can again see from Timmy’s tears in the pics again, love it), to our hyper-energetic father-daughter dance to Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock and Roll”, and concluding with my sisters organizing a surprise flash mob that secretly involved all of our awesome wedding guests, Tim and I couldn’t have asked for more! It was truly the most perfect day and what makes it even more perfect, is knowing that I get to spend EVERY DAY with my all-time favorite person in this whole world, my husband.
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